We’ve all grown up learning that smoking is bad for our health and that it can lead to lung cancer and heart disease. In the past decades, much more research has been performed showing how smoking traditional cigarettes not only causes lung and heart problems, but is linked to many other kinds of cancers and diseases.
A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found that an astonishingly high number of cancer cases in people over the age of 35 in the U.S. are related to smoking: nearly 50%. The grim report challenges a study conducted by the U.S. Surgeon General in 2014, which showed cigarette-related cancer cases declining.
The problem with the previous study is that it only focused on cases of lung cancer among patients who smoked regularly. The JAMA study found that as many as 12 different types of cancer may be related to the use of traditional cigarettes, including cancers of the trachea, colon, kidneys and bladder. Researchers estimated that out of 345,962 cancer deaths in 2011 among U.S. adults 35 and older, 167,805 were associated with smoking.
"Cigarette smoking continues to cause numerous deaths from multiple cancers despite half a century of decreasing prevalence," the researchers said in a statement after the publication of the article.
It is now clear that the dangers of smoking traditional cigarettes are even more harrowing than was once believed, giving all smokers even more of a reason to quit.